With both chambers returning after a recess, the House began an effort to move several bills related to opioid abuse through the chamber last week; lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want to take steps to tackle this ongoing problem. The package includes bills to protect first responders from criminal or civil liability when they treat overdose victims, grants law enforcement officials new powers to stop chemical trafficking, and creates a task force to draft national guidelines for doctors prescribing opioids. Even with though the bills were passed by the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that these bills would provide no difference without new sources of funding against the epidemic.
Also of note, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a markup on multiple bills.'
Last week, the Senate attempted to finish the Energy-Water Appropriations bill that has been held up for a several weeks. Senate Democrats are opposed to an amendment from Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) that would block the purchase of hard water from Iran. It is unclear when the bill will finally get a floor vote.
Donald Trump came to Capitol Hill last week to meet with GOP leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) who said he could not endorse the presumptive presidential nominee. The two met in the Republican National Committee’s headquarters early Thursday morning. It was seen as a fruitful meeting, with the two releasing a joint statement later that day. After meeting with Ryan, Trump met with a number of other Congressional leaders as he made the rounds on Capitol Hill.